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Qualifications

• MSc(Econ) (Specialist) in Postcolonial Politics, Aberystwyth University, awarded with Merit, 2009-2010 (bursary award received)
• B.A (Hons) in International Relations, Dublin City University (DCU): Second Class Honours, Grade One (2:1), 2006 – 2009

About

PhD Thesis Title: “Harming By Degrees” – The Obligation to Pre-Emptively Protect the Environmental Human Security of Future Generations

The consequences of anthropogenic environmental harms will violate various types of human rights and entitlements on a large scale, ranging from subsistence rights to cultural rights, and would – if carried out directly and deliberately – also be considered as gross breaches of global justice such as, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and acts of aggression. However because these severe harms are both accumulative and indirect, currently the causal actions are not treated or regulated as such by international laws, norms or practices. Therefore the future generations of victims are not protected from these imminent harms. .
The central argument of this thesis is that current generations have pre-emptive obligations to future generations, who should be treated as existent subjects, entitled to environmental justice – in the form of pre-emptive protection of their human rights and human security. The case for this is based on two claims; i) that future generations are recognisable as subjects who can hold rights and entitlements, and ii) that the causal actions of these imminent harms be treated as equivalent to the actual harms themselves, with the causal actors and agents held accountable, responsible, and liable for such harms. The State, being the subject or agent identified as bearing this responsibility to protect future generations, can be held accountable to undertake these duties and obligations based on current international practices and standards. Interventional methods and approaches considered include the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, the supreme emergency exemption, and the precautionary principle, in addition to numerous human rights, humanitarian, and environmental laws. To illustrate and test these claims empirical examples, including North Italy’s Po Valley, and Oceania’s island States, are used.
Given the complexity of environmental harms and intergenerational justice, the thesis seeks to answer questions regarding the environmental rights of the as-yet-unborn, the ethics of intervention, the responsibility to protect, the reciprocal nature of justice, the weight of liability and intent, and the distribution and assignation of accountability in the context of indirect harms. Taking a moderate cosmopolitan stance on both harm and human security, coupled with an English School approach to an international society of States imbued with sovereign duties and responsibilities, this thesis draws on the work of intergenerational justice and environmental rights theorists (such as Richard Hiskes, Henry Shue, and James Nickel). The conclusion presents a case for recognition of future generations and our responsibilities to them, including an obligation to invoke certain practices pre-emptively in order to protect them from imminent harm on both ethical and humanitarian grounds.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Environmental rights; the legal and political principles of collective harms; the morality of pre-emption; humanitarian intervention; the legal philosophy of culpability, intent, and irreversibility; human rights (fundamental and collective); State agency and identity; responsibility; intergenerational recognition;

Experience

Teaching: Marxism, Capitalism, Feminism, Power, Ethics

• Lecturer “Freedom and Power”
• Tutor “Sociology and Social Problems”

Publications

· Book review of ‘What’s good on Television? Understanding Ethics through the Media’ published in the Times Higher Education Textbook Guide, 24 May 2012 available online at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=420017&sectioncode=26

Memberships

• Member of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and a member of the African and International Studies working Group and the Environment Working Group.
• Member of International Society of Environmental Ethics (ISEE)
• Member of the Association for Political Thought (APT)

External

· Visiting Scholar (February – August 2014) – University of Milan (Italy), Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences

Research

Conference Papers and Seminars·
Paper – peer-reviewed
Pre-emptive recognition : can and should groups be recognized temporally ?, Groups : Challenges For Contemporary Political Philosophy, University Of Rennes (19-21 November 2014)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
“Degrees of Responsibility” – The Case for Pre-emptively Recognising Intergenerational Environmental Rights, Final ESF ENRI Conference – Rights to a Green Future, Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg (28-31 October 2014)
·
Paper –
The Responsibility to Prevent – What are our current obligations to future collectives?, 3rd ‘Ideals and Reality’ Conference, Social Ethics Research Group, University of South Wales (9-11 April 2014)
· Paper – Seminar
Harming by Degrees: Treating Imminent Environmental Harms as Actual Harms –
Social Ethics Research Seminar series, University of South Wales (October 24th 2013)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
Harming By Degrees – Justifying Pre-Emptive Action Against Global Warming Through Treating Imminent Harms As Actual Harms, 11th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Pavia (9-10 September 2013)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
Recognising Intergenerational Environmental Rights, 11th ESA conference ‘Crisis Critique, Change’, University of Turin (28th – 31st August 2013)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
‘Seeing the woods for the trees’: Protecting future generations from environmental harms. Warwick Graduate Conference in Political and Legal Theory, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick (16 February 2013)

· Paper – peer-reviewed
The (Green) Responsibility to Protect? Making A case for pre-emptive humanitarian intervention in environmental case, 10th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Pavia (3-4 September 2012)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
The (Green) Responsibility to Protect? Environmental harm, humanitarian obligations, and the question of pre-emptive intervention, 16th Brave New World conference, Manchester Centre for Political Theory (27-28 June 2012)
· Paper
International Environmentality And Resistance: Counter-Conducts At Copenhagen?, 1st ‘Ideals and Reality’ conference, Social Ethics Research Group, University of Wales, Newport (11-13April 2012)
· Seminar – invited speaker
The Responsibility to Prevent? Is pre-emptive humanitarian intervention justifiable in environmental cases?, Critical and Cultural Politics Research Group, Dept. of International Politics, Aberystwyth University (20 March 2012)
· Paper – peer-reviewed
Divide and Conquer: The breaking of (United) Nations, 9th Aberystwyth-Lancaster Graduate Colloquium, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University (2-4 June 2011)

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